The future of financial reporting 2008: measurement and stakeholders

A discussion paper based on the British Accounting Association Financial Accounting and Reporting Special Interest Group (FARSIG) Colloquium, 11 January 2008.

Financial accounting and reporting is a curious mix of dynamism and stability. Thinking about the theory and practice of financial accounting and reporting is constantly evolving from generation to generation. Nonetheless, at its core are several key issues that apparently remain eternal, such as a conceptual theory to underpin accounting, how to measure elements within the financial statements and the users of accounting information.

A symposium at the ACCA offices in London, on 11 January 2008, explored some modern views on such perennial topics as conceptual theory, measurement and stakeholders. This report aims to synthesise and provide some informed commentary on the five papers presented at the symposium. These five papers were:

1. Conceptual Framework: Revisiting the Basics. A Comment on Hicks and the Concept of Income in the Conceptual Framework (Bromwich, M., Macve, R., and Sunder, S.)

2. Deciding on Basis of Measurement – Users’ Needs or Public Interest? (Chisman, N.)

3. Fair Value – An Ongoing Controversy (Martin, R.)

4. Fair Value and the IASB/FASB Conceptual Framework Project – An Alternative View (Whittington, G.)

5. Communication between Management and Stakeholders: A Case Study (McInnes, B., Beattie, V. and Pierpoint, J.)